Sunday, October 25, 2009

Returning from IMUC

I am finally writing again after my return from the magnificent International Mathematica User Conference 2009, where I learned about the features of the future Mathematica 8 and met many people. I am going to devote a series of entries about IMUC 2009, but some general observations and things that I learned are
  • Mathematica is growing and improving at an increasingly faster rate.
  • The new Mathematica notebook will have nearly the same capacity found in LaTeX for creating static documents. However, is the dynamic capability what makes it revolutionary and much better than LaTeX.
  • The Mathematica kernel is eventually going to support efficient tensor computation. These routines are going to be implemented in separated modules, so that Tensorial (the tensor package I develop with David Park and Jean-Francois Gouyet) will benefit from these new features. Moreover, now I have more ideas on how to independently improve Tensorial.
  • The rendering of 3D images with CUDA is truly amazing and I am waiting to play with it when it gets implemented in the kernel. Now I also know that my next laptop has to have an NVidia graphics card.
  • I am also waiting for the Mathematica plugin for web browsers, so that I can directly publish mathematica notebooks on the web without the need to export any html.


  1. I would love to hear about upcoming features in Mathematica 8!
    Just a question: how does matrix/vector computation differ from tensor computation ?

  2. Hi,

    The components of a vector can be arranged in a one-dimensional array. A matrix is an array in two dimensions. A Tensor generalizes a matrix in the sense that the components of a tensor can be arrays in N dimensions. The product of tensors are more diverse with more possibilities and in most cases we require explicit expressions that show how the indexes are combined among the tensors involved in the expressions. There are many practical problems in tensor computation; the primordial is actually how to explicitly write the tensor expressions from the fundamental equations. These expressions may be very big and the second problem is how to simplify them.